Sitting at a restaurant table, glancing over the menu, trying to focus on what to eat and I’m completely distracted by the eatery’s font choices and the severe typography hierarchy issues. Strolling past store fronts, all the while judging the logos on their signs hanging from the walkway covers. Driving down the road, glancing at the billboards I pass and cringing at the terrible image and headline choices.
It’s at the point now, that my husband knows the difference between leading and kerning. I’ve had to share my pain with someone! At the very least, vocalize what I see. He can tell when I’m silently judging what I see, or will even point out a questionable design himself before I have a chance to see. We end up having a quiet chuckle together about the awful design, and the fact that I can’t help myself from saying something.
It’s the designer’s curse. You are trained to analyze and create beautiful logos, displays and layouts. The problem is, it’s hard to turn off this way of thinking; it’s ingrained in every designer. No matter where you look, you’re bombarded with design (the good, the bad and the ugly). The awful designs and layouts stick out like a sore thumb, and you wonder how much better it would be if they had just used a good designer to create a beautiful logo or an incredible ad for them. Many have so much potential!
Design inspiration is every where we look. From people's outfits, grocery stores, nature walks to billboards. I especially can't turn it off when I'm new on a logo project or marketing campaign looking for influence. Sometimes inspiration hits you out of no where while you're eating teriyaki at your favorite local spot and watching tv.
For the sake of mine and other designers’ sanity, please enlist the help of a qualified designer. Make sure you have a quality logo, packaging or menu, it will set you apart from all those who do not have a professional and polished image. Not everyone is a designer and sees things the way I do, but if my husband can pick up on a lack-luster design, I assure you that many more can as well. That professional look could mean the difference between success and failure in your business, between people viewing you as a reputable business, or as one that seems a bit questionable and sloppy. People’s first impression of your business will be taken from your logo or ad, so make sure that first look is a good one!